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Honoring the Wyoming Outdoor Hall of Fame...

October 21st, 2014 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

Living in the least densely populated state in the Lower 48, we here in Wyoming have a different perspective compared to other parts of the country. With just six people per square mile, it is easy to appreciate everything nature and the outdoors offer.

Even with the sweeping views of Yellowstone Country, seemingly unlimited trails and trout streams, ability to get away from technology and never ending experiential leisure opportunities, it is tempting to think our resources are inexhaustible.

That is hardly the case. As the state with the country’s first national park, first national forest and first national monument, Wyoming has a long history of conservation and of forward-thinking individuals who have worked to keep the state in good condition for generations to come.

Wide open spaces are part of Cody/Yellowstone Country.

We take things so seriously that we have the Wyoming Outdoor Hall of Fame (WYOHOF) which is operated by Wyoming Wildlife – The Foundation (now a component fund of the Wyoming Community Foundation). According to its web site, this is “a charitable, non-advocacy organization dedicated to conservation education and the funding and management of projects that benefit Wyoming wildlife. Since the year 2000, we have developed many trusted partnerships that Read More


October is a Good Time to Roam Free in...

October 10th, 2014 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

It’s getting to be that time of year here in Yellowstone Country when a lot of my friends take a lesson from the local bears and other wildlife and start to think about nesting. The temperatures are getting a little cooler all the time, and the leaves have been dropping from the trees. Winter is coming.

I’m not one of the nesters though. This is the time of the year when I like to take long hikes and spend hours at a time fishing in one of my secret trout streams. There’s something magical about October. In the next few days, the last of the lodges in Yellowstone National Park will close so the National Park Service can prepare for the winter season. Days get shorter, and it gets a little quieter.

But just because the trees are dropping their leaves and creating a multi-colored carpet across our valleys doesn’t mean we have to hightail it into our houses. Here are some of my favorite ways to play outside this month:

– I like to watch the wildlife in Wapiti Valley. Wildlife viewing is at its peak this time of year, with bull elk still emitting a distinctive bugling sound to get the Read More


Will someone please tell me how it got to...

October 7th, 2014 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

I know that every week I talk about the various stages of summer, how beautiful September (or July or August) is in Yellowstone Country and how I prepared for fall several weeks too early. But, still, it wasn’t until I turned on the television and saw the major league baseball playoffs had started that I realized we were closer to Halloween than to Labor Day.

So what can we expect this month? Like everywhere else in the country, the temperatures in Cody, Wyoming and throughout the region will steadily cool down and the leaves will change. Personally, I enjoy a crisp morning and look forward to the first frost.

A few years ago a popular Cody musician-who-shall-not-be-named gave me a denim jacket lined with sheepskin for my birthday. I love that jacket, but it is way too warm to wear until I can see my breath. The day tomato season ends is the day I go looking for that jacket. Oh, and that musician? He was a much better shopper than boyfriend.

Except for some homeschoolers and a few kids who are on crazy school schedules, most of the tourists who roam in Yellowstone Country are either older empty nesters or couples who Read More


What to wear on your Cody/Yellowstone...

September 26th, 2014 by Park County Travel Council | Comments(1)

Following my Mother’s Advice in Cody, Wyoming

Just saw a group of people heading out a trail with their fly rods in hand wearing shorts and hiking boots with their waders slung over their shoulders. I’m sure they had Cody’s blue-ribbon trout waters on their minds.

 

Anglers enjoy the solitude of late season fishing.

Apparently, nobody told them that a vacation in Cody was restricted to summer months.

Seeing hopeful anglers is common all summer here in Yellowstone Country, and I normally would not even mention it. I, however, thought I was way ahead of the game when I spent the best part of last weekend organizing my clothes in preparation for the changing of the seasons.

While blue jeans are pretty much appropriate for any Wyoming event, many of us match our clothes to the activity. Summer is warm, and those jeans can simply be too much in the direct sun when I am climbing a steep trail, bicycling out to a favorite getaway or listening to some cowboy music on the porch of the Irma Hotel.

So when the weather report called for a high of 89F for today, there I was completely prepared for cool and comfortable “jeans and sweater” weather.

Fall Read More


Finding that Perfect Balance in Cody —...

September 19th, 2014 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

Twice each year the planet reaches a point where I pause and think about balance.

When the Autumnal – also called the “Fall” – Equinox arrives on September 22, Earth will momentarily be neither tilted towards nor away from the sun.

All over the planet we will see 12 hours of light and 12 of dark before the days shorten in the northern hemisphere and lengthen in the southern.

I am just geeky enough to get a big kick out of factoids like that.

Like many places in this country, Cody, Wyoming used to be primarily a summer vacation destination. Kids were out of school roughly from the beginning of June until the beginning of September, and families took their Wyoming vacations during that time.

Summer sunset over Cody, Wyoming

Summer is still the busiest vacation season in Yellowstone Country, and July will probably always be the busiest month of the year in and around Yellowstone National Park. Through the years, however, many factors have come into play to not only stretch the tourist season but to make the region appealing at any time of year.

– We are always looking to achieve a better balance. Here are some reasons why we are succeeding:Changes in school Read More


Plan a Fall Vacation in Yellowstone Country

September 5th, 2014 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

I’ve said it before, but it’s worth repeating: Summer begins Memorial Day weekend and ends Labor Day weekend. Even though officially we still have a couple more weeks of summer, in my mind fall has begun.

I love this time of year. The dry air in the West is something that has always agreed with me. When I spent my time in the Big City in my early 20s, the humidity was something for which I was unprepared. It took me a long time to get acclimated, and I was always wearing the wrong clothes. How could 80 degrees feel so hot and 60 so cold?

Cody fall landscapes often include sunflowers, blue skies and rugged hills.

 

With our dry air, I don’t feel that much difference between 60 (or lower) and 80 (or higher). Sure, my jeans and cowboy boots are a little more comfortable in the cooler temperatures, but the days when the weather dictates my lifestyle simply don’t happen often.

The first day I dig my favorite sweater out of the dresser however, signals several things.

— The bounty I have been enjoying from my garden is winding down. The squashes and tomatoes have been plentiful, but if I want large Read More


Rendezvous Royale: Where Western Style...

August 20th, 2014 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

Mix the Western charm of Cody with the prestigious elegance of fine art, fashion, and dancing, and you’ll get one of the most anticipated events of the year: Rendezvous Royale.

Drawing people in from all over the country, the Rendezvous Royale is a week-long festival (September 15-21) that celebrates the West with a renowned art show, auction, fashion show, studio tours, a gala and more.

Western style is showcased on the runway at the 2013 Cody High Style event.

Mountain Living magazine said it best when they quoted this event as being “to western arts what the Oscars are to film; the most prestigious event at which to make a splash”.

It’s also the perfect time to plan that autumn vacation you’ve been craving.

Rendezvous Royale gives out-of-towner’s a rare glimpse of Cody, and art enthusiasts a complete immersion into the tradition and history of Wyoming through an array of aesthetic treasures.

Visitors pack the downtown streets of Cody at the 2013 Boot Scoot N’ Boogie.

With cooler temperatures and fewer crowds, visitors will have the pleasure of experiencing the town of Cody in a unique season while digging down deep into its cultural roots with a series of shows and exhibits.

The week consists of 5 main events: the Cody Read More


Fly me to the Moon, or at Least to...

August 15th, 2014 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

When you live in the wide open spaces of Wyoming, transportation is important.

Our towns here in Yellowstone Country are certainly small enough that you can walk from end to end. Riding horseback is still a way of life, and the bicycles and motorcycles coexist just fine.

But let’s face it: We love our cars and trucks. While we don’t compare to a place like Alaska where it seems every other person flies, there is more than our share of private pilots and small airstrips around here.

Open landscapes add to the great air show.

This weekend I intend to accept a standing offer from a “pilot acquaintance” who has been after me to go flying in his single-engine Piper Dakota. My plan is to meet him Saturday morning at the Cody Yellowstone Regional Airport where he keeps his plane. While I know any direction is okay with him, I want to make the short flight to Powell. This will be a simple flight with no special tricks, unlike what we will see later that morning.

The air show is always spectacular at Wings 'N Wheels.

You see, this Saturday is Powell’s Annual Wings ‘N Wheels Fly-in & Car Show at the Powell Municipal Read More


Finding the Familiar in Yellowstone Country

August 11th, 2014 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

Like most people, I have two sides of my personality and like to keep them balanced.

I love spontaneity and wandering into new towns and places and stores. Cody, Wyoming is always full of new faces and license plates from all of the states and provinces. When I hear a foreign accent my first thought is to wonder where those people are from. If I can figure out a way to strike up a conversation I love learning what brought them here for a Wyoming vacation.

What I’ve found through the years, however, is that after meeting new people, visiting new places and enjoying new experiences, I start to feel out of balance. When I lived in the big city, my “cool” friend Brian told me why I was feeling blue one day.

“You’re ‘jonesing’ for that small town where you know every other person in the grocery store and all the words to the songs of your beloved cowboy music,” he said.

And he was right. Every now and then I simply needed a trip to Cody to get myself balanced.

Even though I moved back, it still happens. Thanks to Brian’s observation I have figured out the cure to dealing with too many Read More